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Keep Your Hands Off Wild Animals

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 7:00am

Announcer: Farm And Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Amy Myers: Today we're talking about keeping your hands off wild animals. Hello, I'm Amy Myers and welcome to Farm And Family. Today we're speaking with Dr. Bronson Strickland, Mississippi State University Wildlife Specialist with Extension. Bronson. I love deer season, but I prefer to shoot deer and other animals at any time I please. I don't really care if it's illegal. That's fine. Right?

Bronson Strickland: Amy I love deer season too. It's one of my favorite times of the year, but absolutely not. You have to follow the law set forth by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries And Parks. So they have a very defined deer season, including what type of weapon, and you have to strictly adhere to what they say.

Amy Myers: But nothing's going to happen to me if I break the law right?

Bronson Strickland: You could possibly be fined and go to jail. So yes, something could happen. These laws are set up to protect our populations. It's Mississippi's resource and they're there to protect it for us. So yeah, they will defend wildlife and send someone to jail or fine them if needed.

Amy Myers: Well, I'd like to trap or catch a deer and keep it as a pet or maybe even sell it to somebody. I saw a guy who tried to sell a live deer one time and he got arrested. But don't you think that's wrong since he didn't hurt or harm the deer?

Bronson Strickland: Amy, that's a terrible idea to try to capture wildlife. Most people that try to capture wildlife, first of all aren't experts and they're going to potentially cause a lot of damage to them. Trying to capture a deer is hard to do. Not to mention diseases and things like that. So yeah, these animals are protected by law. They are wild animals and so no, you cannot possess them in any way, shape or form while they're alive and especially you can't sell them.

Amy Myers: I hear the term proper animal husbandry. Don't we need to take care of animals?

Bronson Strickland: We absolutely do, and that's what we call conservation. That's what we call wildlife management. Animal husbandry means you have best management practices for live domestic livestock, for domestic animals. The husbandry would be the husbandry of the habitat so that those wild populations can thrive.

Amy Myers: So can I trap wild hogs and breed them so that I can hunt them?

Bronson Strickland: Again, absolutely not. You can trap them and we encourage everybody to trap wild hogs, but we also want to trap them and euthanize them. That's one of the biggest problems in Mississippi while we're in this epidemic of hogs that we're in, is because people are capturing or catching them with dogs and moving around and turning them loose.

Amy Myers: What are some things that people do as far as trapping that are illegal and harmful that we might not think about?

Bronson Strickland: A good example, Amy would be enlisting the help of a trapper with wild hogs. This doesn't happen always, but it's documented that it has happened. A trapper sometimes will trap a hog or sounder of hogs and take them off the land owner's property. But rather than euthanizing, they'll turn them loose somewhere else. And so if you hire someone to trap hogs, the live hog does not leave your property. They're euthanized on site.

Amy Myers: So that these nuisance animals don't reproduce.

Bronson Strickland: Exactly.

Amy Myers: So what if I find like a deer or a fox or another wild animal that might need help?

Bronson Strickland: Oftentimes people will think if they find a faun that it's been abandoned. And so what they'll do is they'll try to take care of that faun and most people can't do that. What you do is simply called the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries And Parks, work through a conservation officer and they will assess the need. If they deem it necessary, they will connect you with a wildlife rehabilitator but that requires permitting. So this is something you can't just do on your own. It's going to require notification of the State Wildlife Agency as well as permitting.

Amy Myers: Because if you touch these animals, your human scent is on that animal and these are pack animals a lot of times. They will not be received well by their pack of animals if they smelled danger on the animal due to the fact that you touched it.

Bronson Strickland: Think of it this way on Amy. On the average, the more you put your hands on that animal, you're probably not helping it be successful in terms of in wildlife.

Amy Myers: So you must be legal about it. I understand. I cannot trap anything to set it loose for a game. No hunting games or anything like that because it's illegal. You can go to jail, you can get heavy fines. Where do we go to learn more about these laws and other things?

Bronson Strickland: Probably the best place to start would be mdwfandp.com. That's the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries And Parks. Also with an Extension, if you go to the Extension webpage and search on their Extension outdoors, we have a series of articles that deal with this topic.

Amy Myers: That's extension.msstate.edu. In the search box, type in Extension outdoors. Today we've been speaking with Bronson Strickland, Extension Wildlife Specialist. I'm Amy Myers and this has been Farm And Family. Have a great day.

Announcer: Farm And Family is a production of the Mississippi State University Extension Service.

Department: Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture

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